A Northeast Ohio church opened its doors to the community over the weekend for its first annual Indian food festival.
Within 20 minutes of the festival opening, the parking lot was full at St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church in Macedonia. Visitors sampled tandoori chicken, dosa – a crepe filled with potatoes – and samosas, which have a fried dough shell surrounding a spicy filling.
But there was more than food. Proceeds went to eight Northeast Ohio charities, and Fr. James Cheriyan said the event was designed as a platform for different cultures to mix, and was not a response to recent immigration issues in the U.S.
"Northeast Ohio or the Midwest in general is – I’ve been around the country – and this is like one of the warmest places with warm people [and] warm hearts who are very good. This is a testimony for who we are as a region," Cheriyan said.
Nicole Lazar from Sagamore Hills was happy to see people from a diverse range of backgrounds at the festival.
"I think is a great way to bring people from different communities [and] backgrounds together to have something to unite over some food and have some good conversation hopefully," Lazar said.
St. Gregorios was established in the late 1990s in Cleveland, and moved to its current location in 2015.